Autism Mind Women’s Health

Self-Care Tips for Black Moms With Autistic Kids

Mother of autistic child meditates during free time.
Written by Jessie Kimani

Parenting a child with autism comes with its fair share of challenges. The constant demands of the child and stress can leave an emotional tool for you. Without self-care, you can easily suffer burnout and negatively impact your child. This makes self-care a necessity and not a luxury to help you take better care of your child. In this article, we share some of the most effective self-care strategies for Black moms raising children with autism.

Challenges Faced by Black Moms in Parenting a Child with Autism

Black moms face a myriad of challenges when raising autistic children. The constant meltdowns of your autistic child can leave you drained while their heightened sensitivities to sensory stimuli can make your daily activities overwhelming. You also need to deal with the daily struggles of communicating with the child every day and the social isolation that comes with the unique demands of the child’s needs. On top of all that, you have to navigate therapy and interventions, which are usually time-consuming and mentally draining. Without taking a break to breathe and refresh, you may not give your autistic child the care they need.

Self-Care Strategies for Autism Black Moms: Become a Better Parent

To overcome the unique challenges associated with being a Black mom to a child with autism, you need to prioritize self-care. This will not only maintain your well-being but also make you better equipped to support your child. Remember that self-care is not selfish, but a way to refuel yourself and make you a better parent. Here are some top strategies to help balance the demands of parenting a child with autism:

1.     Create a Routine

The importance of a routine in anything cannot be overlooked. One of the important Black mom self-care tips when raising a child with autism is to create a routine and schedule time for time for everything. A good routine will make sure you do not miss a physiotherapy appointment, you have a balanced life, and you get to do things that matter to you as an individual. You will also have more control of your parenting duties and be constantly available to your child.

2.     Make Yourself a Priority

An important part of being a great mom is taking a breather to remember who you are. Since taking care of your child with autism demands a lot from you, scheduling time off will allow you to reset your mind. You also need to engage in activities that make you a better person and give you peace:

  • Get a good night’s sleep of 6 to 8 hours
  • Pray or meditate
  • Take a walk and do some exercises
  • Create a ‘me-time’ in your weekly schedule
  • Read a book or listen to an audiobook
  • Set healthy boundaries with family and friends
  • Keep up with all your medical exams
  • Take showers or baths by candlelight
  • Seek counseling if need be

3.     Ask for Assistance

Being a mom already takes a toll on you and will often be exhausting. As you strive to be a supermom in your home, you will notice that you cannot do it all. Seeking physical and emotional support can lessen the border and make you feel more connected. In addition to spending time with friends and extended family, you can also benefit from online support, psychoeducation, and parent advocates that help in navigating the intervention system.

In your everyday life, learn to ask for help whenever you can to avoid being overwhelmed. Delegate some of the house chores to other members of the family to spare more time for you to relax. You can also create a community of family members, friends, or professional caregivers for additional assistance. Even an hour of help as you relax can do a lot to your emotional and mental well-being.

4. Find Your Tribe

Raising a child with autism will change the kind of social relationships you used to have. It may be a good idea to find a meaningful group of friends who can support you. Consider finding respite care whenever you want to take a break and recharge. By entrusting the care of your child to a professional service or trusted individual, you can have some time for self-care activities, getting some rest, or even pursuing hobbies. Some of the great respite care options include:

  • Supportive friends
  • Family members
  • Professional respite care services

5. Acknowledge Your Daily Achievements

Parenting is a constant activity that at times we forget to check how far we have come. At the end of the day, try and think about all the things that you have done. Instead of focusing on what you were not able to do, think of the positives. You will be amazed by how long that list is, and it will make you feel better about yourself and pumped for the next day.

Parenting a child with autism can be quite challenging for Black moms. As much as it provides a joyful and fulfilling experience, it can also be exhausting and incredibly stressful. The increased time and attention needed to care for an autistic child can leave you drained. Therefore, being mindful of yourself and taking time off for self-care can help you become a better parent.

Additional Resources

Coping resources and stress due to demands in parents to children with autism spectrum disorder.

5 Tips for Autism Parents’ Self-Care.

Taking Care of Yourself. A Parent’s Guide to Autism.

Self-care tips for parents with autistic children.

Self-Care Strategies Among Parents With A Child Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Self-Care Strategies for Parents & Caregivers.

About the author

Jessie Kimani

Jess is a dedicated natural hair enthusiast, stylist, and writer. From tips on how to style your curls to product recommendations, she is your go-to source for all things natural hair care. She is passionate about helping women embrace their natural beauty; a firm believer that every woman should feel confident and beautiful in their natural hair.

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